At a Glance
Marion Technical Institute provides educational and career programs to meet the needs of high school students throughout Marion County. MTI, centered in the heart of Florida, offers a program unique in Marion County and the state of Florida. The school opened its doors in August 2005 and has continued to grow in numbers of students and program opportunities. With the influence and support of its Task Force and the business community, MTI provides excellent career programs combined with a complete array of academic, dual enrollment, and honors classes - both on campus and online.
As the first CHOICE® replication site in the state of Florida, MTI has been acknowledged for its high quality programs offering students career, college, and national industry/business certification opportunities. In 2006, MTI’s partnership with business organizations and high quality business/community involvement was recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2007-2008, MTI was honored to be noted as a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE)®. In 2008, MTI was honored to present at the international conference for ICLE at which more than 30,000 educators from around the world attended. MTI is the first Marion County high school to present at this conference. And, unbelievably, MTI was asked to present again at the 2009 conference.
Currently MTI students may enroll in the following:
- Automotive Technology (sponsored by Ford of Ocala)
- Building Sciences (sponsored by Marion County Builders Association)
- Business & Finance (sponsored by Gateway Bank)
- Career Academy (in cooperation with College of Central Florida)
- Culinary Arts (sponsored by Cheney Brothers)
- Law (sponsored by Marion County Bar Association)
- Production and Design Technology (sponsored by Lockheed Martin and R&D Manufacturing)
- Information Technology(sponsored by CenturyLink)
These areas are supported by a full-complement of academic classes, from Spanish to Chemistry to speech to Honors English. Through the unique structure of MTI, students have the opportunity to take Honors classes or college dual enrollment credit. College credit (through the College of Central Florida) can be received through taking classes on campus or by enrolling in the Career Academy with its classes on the Ocala campus. Regardless of the student's career interest, there are opportunities for receiving national, industry-recognized certifications. In addition, MTI students have the option of receiving Florida Bright Futures Scholarships.
MTI students also have access to the Marion Virtual program which is part of Florida Virtual High School. Through Marion Virtual, MTI students have access to a wide range of online courses. MTI students also have access to computers in the MTI Student Union and one of four computer labs. Students have the chance to complete course requirements with the assistance of teachers/staff while working on campus. Students may also work on their own computers on and off campus.
MTI staff includes instructional and non-instructional staff members that is based on student enrollment. The MTI student enrollment at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school was 378 with students in grades 11 and 12. For the 2010-2011 school year, approximately 55% of the students were eligible for the free and reduced lunch program and 40% students were female and 60% males.
MTI's Exceptional Student Education program follows the inclusion model with regular interaction between the students, teachers and the school’s ESE coordinator. The ESE coordinator, Shanda Nikolajski, works with teachers to ensure the Individual Educational Plan is followed and students are given the appropriate modifications and support.
The following provides a few points of information about MTI:
- The school facility was built in 1956 with some structural additions made since that time. Eight years ago, the school district undertook renovating the career classrooms to house MTI. For the most part, the facility remains the same as when vacated by the previous high school occupant.
- According to the state criteria for school grades, MTI is not eligible to receive a school grade based on student enrollment and a lack of tenth grade students tested. Generally the school does not receive AYP evaluation.
- FCAT scores have shown improvement across grade levels and years (2005 through 2011). MTI will continue its focus on improving reading, writing, mathematics and science skills, especially as aligned with increased student career and technical educational development.
- Teachers are highly qualified.
- There are four school administrators (principal, coordinator/assistant principal, vocational administrator and dean).
- The program completion/graduation rate is 99% and the retention rate is 99%.
- MTI recruits students from other district schools with the students providing their own transportation to and from school.
- Special programs include career/technical academies, online classes, honors, dual enrollment, national business certification testing, internships, articulated college credit, job shadowing, workplace learning, the Career Academy, and others.
- The Career Academy is located on the College of Central Florida campus. Students enrolled in this academy graduate with college credits and have the option of receiving training in a wide range of career fields – including fire fighting, cosmetology, veterinary medicine and more.
The focus for MTI has been on strengthening academics and combining classroom activities with careers through interdisciplinary projects. Teachers and students diligently work to increase the number of national certifications earned. The school believes in giving students the opportunity to learn in the workplace – putting skills to work – and learning much more than what can be taught within four walls. MTI is dedicated to offering rigor, relevance and relationship. Rigor is the challenge offered to students in academics and career education, relevance tying together what the students are learning based and their expressed interests, and relationship is building positive connections between teachers, students, parents, school, and community.